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Chapter 25 America Moves to the City (1865-1900)

Question: In what ways and to what extent was the late 19th century
between “New Industrial Age” and a “Gilded Age” in urban America?
Thesis Statement: During the late nineteenth century, urban America
was socially, politically, and economically both a “New Industrial Age”
and a “Gilded Age”; it was more economically, a “New Industrial Age”,
but it was more socially and politically a “Gilded Age”. With the help of
technological advances, a “New Industrial Age” emerged during a time
of immigration, political corruption and social problems.
-“New Industrial Age”
o From 1870 to 1900, American population doubled, while
population in cities tripled. Cities grew bigger and taller due to
skyscrapers, first invented by Louis Sullivan. From small cities to
large metropolises, people went from walking to electric trolleys.
o Electricity, indoor plumbing, and telephones made city life more
interesting. By the end of 19th century, 4 out of 10 Americans
were city dwellers.
o The telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell and
typewriter helped bring more women into work.
o Both the East and West were being industrialized, with more
industrial jobs (factories and Department stores like Macy’s in
New York and Marshall Field’s in Chicago) and more technology
in American agriculture.
o Urban life was more stressful on families. In farms,
children=more labor, but in cities=more mouths to feed and
greater chance of poverty.
o Henry George’s book, Progress and Poverty, advocated social
reform thorough the imposition of a “single tax” on land.
o The most difficult problems due to urban American
lifestyles=disposing of large quantities of consumer-generated
waste material.
o Railrod most significantly stimulated American industrialization
by creating a single national market for raw materials and
consumer goods.
-“Gilded Age”
o Immigration of European peasants: They had to move because of
cheap American foodstuffs that competed with their businesses.
Most of the New Immigrants were escaping from slums and
poverty of southeastern European cities. (19% =1880, 60%
=1990s) These “NI” came from Poland, Italy, China,
o The immigrants were hated- trade unionists hated them for
willingness to work for super low wages and bringing in
dangerous doctrines like socialism and communism.
o Chinese were banned from America after 1882 due to nativist
o Religious groups that grew due to “NI” were Jews and Roman
o American social reformers like Henry George and Edward
Bellamy advocated utopian reforms to end poverty and eliminate
class conflict.
o Settlement houses (Jane Adams’ Hull House)=aided immigrants
and promoted social reforms.
o “Social Gospel” =efforts of some Christian reformers to apply
religious beliefs to new social problems. This was advocated by
Washington Gladden and Walter Raushenbusch.
o The federal government did little to help immigrants assimilate
into American society, so immigrants were often controlled by
powerful bosses like New York’s Boss Tweed who provided jobs
and shelter in return for political support and the polls. He was
brought to halt by Thomas Nast.
o Jim Fisk and Jay Gould tried to corner gold market.
o Grant’s administration was plagued with bribes and corrupt
o Credit Mobilier scandal involved RR fraud and bribes of
o Plessy vs. Fergueson totally disregarded constitution and said
“separate, but equal” was constitutional.